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Halo of Knives - Eat God Review

by Mark Hensch

For all logical purposes, I'm kinda surprised this CD even exists. For those of you not in the know, Halo of Knives is a Aussie grind outfit based in Perth whom disbanded with little fanfare in 2003. The extremely D.I.Y. folks at Grindhead Records love their Australian grind, and decided to put this eleven song LP out on record for us. There are some very talented bands on that label, and so naturally I was pretty psyched for this release; in fact, I was downright stoked. The reason for my initial anticipation stems from the fact that this CD had to be very wicked to be released three years after the band that made it broke up. Upon actually hearing it, I found myself with fourteen minutes of solid, relatively average grind. A bit underwhelming it was, or so I might add.

"All Too Human" starts with a crusty note that wavers before exploding into full-on, blasting grind, the classic kind that Napalm did before going all mid-tempo on us for a while there. This song is pretty interesting, as it see-saws between that blistering insanity and chugging, patient groove, the kind I feel makes grind especially brutal. "A Piercing Gaze" is a quick kick to the groin, just pure grind. Some nice palm-mutes rear their ugly heads, and there are lots of splashing cymbals.

"Watch the Red Devils Burn" inhabits an inferno of blazing, furious grind, and is probably the best cut on the whole album, what with the rolling bass lines and churning maelstrom of slicing guitars. "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" kicks off with a really sweet riff, but by now it is apparent that the songs are trapped in a formula of quick intro riff, blasting drums, dirty rock groove, and back again. In fact, the album almost universally conforms to this idea.

"Condensed Flesh" is next, and this song is a spot-on cover (spastic drum rolls and all) from infamous grind patriarchs Void. "Intifada and the Politic of Revenge" has some sinister, slow, melancholy builds which lead into crusty, break-neck grind 'n roll.

"Going Out on a High Note" is so short and simplistic blasting (a mere 19 seconds) it is actually my least favorite track, and not a high note at all in my opinion. "Mask of Sanity" has some really Napalm splattered riffs going for it, great stuff. In fact, this stuff definitely recalls say Scum or Utopia Banished a bit, more likely the scum end of things, where Napalm Death were younger and faster than at any other time.

"Moods Like a Guillotine" is all over the place, kind of like a point-blank shotgun victim's facial matter. "Bury Me at Makeout Creek" has a sweet name, but by now the CD has begun to run into itself, and is getting a tad old. "The Kill" is a short, sweet cover of about twenty-four seconds, the likes of which you Napalm Death fans out there will remember as being first recorded for the landmark Scum album I previously mentioned.

All-in-all, I'll keep things short and to the point not unlike the grind in question. I can sum up this release in one sentence. Ready? Here goes..."Eat God is decent, unremarkable, and for grind completists only." Consider yourself properly informed.

1. All Too Human
2. A Piercing Gaze
3. Watch the Red Devils Burn
4. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
5. Condensed Flesh (Void cover)
6. Intifada and the Politic of Revenge
7. Going Out on a High Note
8. Mask of Sanity
9. Moods Like a Guillotine
10. Bury Me at Makeout Creek
11. The Kill (Napalm Death cover)

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Halo of Knives - Eat God


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